Drug & Alcohol Related Death

Forensic pathologists are often asked to investigate drug and alcohol related deaths. The first step is for a toxicology report to determine the levels and presence of alcohol, drugs, or other illicit substances in a personís system. Next forensic pathologists distinguish between toxic, non-toxic and fatal amounts of either drugs or alcohol for a certain personís body make-up and health. A forensic pathologist has the ability to test for and evaluate the use of medications and illicit drugs Ė and the interaction between the two. Often the presence of these drugs can play a major role in the outcome of an alcohol death case. Accordingly, The Forensic Panelís expert pathologists have the experience and knowledge necessary to answer questions revolving around alcohol and drug related deaths. A familiarity with alcohol use and its related impact is especially important when dealing with such cases. The forensic pathologist is educated in the sudden deaths of alcoholics, acute alcoholic intoxication, poisoning by adulterated alcoholic beverages, natural diseases complicated by alcoholism, and chronic alcoholism and susceptibility to trauma and bleeding which may appear identical to the untrained eye, but are distinctly different causes of death due to alcohol.

Through the use of peer-review, The Forensic Panel provides a team of alcohol and drug related death experts in addition to a pathologist, including a toxicologist and an emergency medicine physician if the case warrants such multi-dimensional expertise. In this manner, The Forensic Panel may give an opinion that represents proficiency in a related field of forensics to provide a comprehensive picture of the case.